Wall Street Journal: “Fuck Main Street”.
That’s the prevailing attitude of America’s pre-eminent capitalist rag. Noam Chomsky once cited the Wall Street Journal, along with the Economist, as his newspaper of choice because in the interest of delivering to Wall Street the accurate information it needs to make wise investments, the WSJ absolutely HAS TO tell the truth about what’s going on in the world. I always questioned that assumption. After Rupert Murdoch’s take-over of WSJ, I trust that Chomsky has been seeking his news elsewhere. The WSJ is little more than the paper edition of Faux News, at least as far as its editorial staff is concerned.
Take today’s disgusting editorial from Mary Anastasia O’Grady that starts off thusly: “In a perfect world former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya would be in jail in his own country right now, awaiting trial.” I kept reading because I wanted to see what she’d pull out of her ass to support that statement. She then goes on to state that his removal from office was not only morally justified – forget morally justified – but legal. So here it is, folks: military coups = legal. Let me hear this lady say something like, “we were right to back the coup in Chile and install Augusto Pinochet”. Like Michelle Malkin arguing the case for detaining Japanese Americans during World War II, O’Grady is looking to defend the indefensible. And like Malkin, she does it by being dishonest with her readers.
She accuses Zelaya of a power grab. Since when is a “non-binding poll of public opinion” a power grab? He wanted another term to carry out his presidency, which would bring his years in power to a grand total of 8 – the exact same number of years we allow US Presidents not named Roosevelt. He wanted the people to vote on a referendum that would, in theory, give him at least the popular vote to change the constitution so that it would allow him to run for one more term. She goes on to say that Zelaya threatened violence against his opponents, linking him to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Except that Hugo Chavez is actually liked by over half his country; Zelaya isn’t very popular. The poor seem to like him though. Funny how the Wall Street Journal and leaders advocating economic justice for the poor so rarely seem to get along. Anyway, here’s her smoking gun:
“A week later some 100 agitators, wielding machetes, descended on the attorney general’s office. “We have come to defend this country’s second founding,” the group’s leader reportedly said. “If we are denied it, we will resort to national insurrection.”
“These experiences frightened Hondurans because they strongly suggested that Mr. Zelaya, who had already aligned himself with Mr. Chávez, was now emulating the Venezuelan’s power-grab. Other Chávez protégés — in Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua — have done the same, refusing to accept checks on their power, making use of mobs and seeking to undermine institutions.”
Hey O’Grady, those “mobs” you kept referring to? That’s the will of the people. You can’t argue against that. Oh, your newspaper and many others have tried. You and your ilk were the types to portray Hugo Chavez as a Saddam Hussein-type dictator who stole the election, despite the fact that he was democratically elected. I can only imagine the party you threw when right-wing insurgents tried to pull a Salvador Allende on him – and failed, only by the grace of God and because of the intervention of certain “mobs”.
And finally, the Honduran National Congress unanimously voted to accept what they said was Zelaya’s letter of resignation, but Zelaya said he did not write the letter. In other words, they forcibly had him removed, then lied to the people about his resignation. So who’s power-grabbing? You lose the moral high ground when you have to lie to the people to make your plans work. That’s because telling the truth means revealing your intentions for the public. If they lied about Zelaya’s resignation, then by that act alone they have already subverted the will of the people. You won’t see O’Grady or the WSJ talk about that, however, because they don’t mind when capitalists do it.
If the US government had any involvement with that coup, I don’t even think President Obama would know, given the fact that our CIA doesn’t seem to answer to the US government anymore. In fact, I haven’t heard anything about restoring many of the privatized sectors of the military and homeland security that were given away under Bush; perhaps they’re being funded by the Wall Street Journal. Or maybe, just Wall Street.
UPDATE: After posting my response at the Wall Street Journal page I received a lot of criticism from the locals. You can follow our interaction on the comments page. I also learned about a few interesting details regarding the scandal. This is Article 239 from the Honduran constitution:
ARTICULO 239.- El ciudadano que haya desempeñado la titularidad del Poder Ejecutivo no podrá ser Presidente o Designado. El que quebrante esta disposición o proponga su reforma, así como aquellos que lo apoyen directa o indirectamente, cesarán de inmediato en el desempeño de sus respectivos cargos, y quedarán inhabilitados por diez años para el ejercicio de toda función pública.
In a nutshell, apparently it means that just the act of proposing the issue of term increases by an acting president is literally against the constitution. It would seem to prove O’Grady right. That is until you read a bit more into their constitution and discover they also have a funny thing we used to have here; Bush’s predecessors called it “due process”. The following comes from the blog halfsigma.com and was written by “lancemh”:
I am amazed at the fundamental ignorance of this issue that is taking place out in the blogoshpere and in the media. I have seen dozens of references to this section of the Honduran Constitution – but not ONE reference to HOW the impeachment process occurs.
First: The Honduran Constitution requires that if a high-ranking member of the Executive Branch has violated the law or exercised authority outside the dictates of the Constitution (which is treason), the Congress shall then file a petition for impeachment in the Supreme Court and the individual is to be tried with all rights of due process attaching. It seems apparent under those circumstances that they could arrest him (LAW ENFORCEMENT – NOT THE MILITARY) and hold him in jail pending trial.
LET US BE CLEAR ON THIS FIRST POINT – the allegation of Zelaya’s unconstitutional acts do seem to violate the constitutional prohibition against a President attempting to amend the constitution in respect to term limits – if so, he had committed treason. HOWEVER, the Honduran Supreme Court nor Congress has the power to order the military or anyone to “remove him” until such trial has taken place. Procedurally speaking, the President’s powers would be suspended after his arrest, and during his detention while awaiting for trial. And under the constitution, an interim President would be designated until case on the article(s) of impeachment was tried. Assuming he is convicted after having had full due process, his Presidency would terminate, and the acting President would then serve out the remainder of the term, and he would not be allowed to run for another term.
Second – The Obama Administration is backing the world-wide accepted principle that proper democratic procedure MUST be followed to the letter of the law. Otherwise, the notion of democracy becomes a farce.
Honduras did NOT follow their own constitutional procedure for impeachment and removal – IRRESPECTIVE of whether this guy violated the constitution first. That makes them hipocrites – just like they have labeled him.
Here’s what I think happened: a pro-business majority in the Honduran congress jumped at the opportunity to have Zelaya ousted. When he slipped, they sicked the dogs on him, kidnapped him, had him extradited to Costa Rica, and then lied to the people by telling them he’d offered a letter of resignation. Yeah…real legit. To her credit, O’Grady did say that “in a perfect world”, Zelaya would be “sitting in jail, awaiting trial”. Is she perhaps in favor of prosecuting the conspirators involved in the coup? How about the members of Congress who lied about his resignation? If O’ Grady insists that Zelaya committed a crime against their constitution, she should then have no problem being in favor of granting him due process either. That is, if her motivations are not as corporate as the paper she works for…
This entry was posted on July 13, 2009 by edwardvondoom. It was filed under Politics and was tagged with article 239, capitalism, coup, coup d'etat, due process, Honduran constitution, Honduras, Hugo Chavez, journalism, Manuel Zelaya, Mary Anastasia O'Grady, Salvador Allende, socialism, Wall Street Journal, WSJ.